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What is a planet?

Question asked by: knowitall

Being a planet is something that has a scientific definition that needs to be met, yet there is always confusion and debate over certain objects and whether they are a planet or not. Anyway, here are the criteria that something must fulfil to be a planet:

- First of all, the object must be in orbit around a star, but it must not be a star itself

This confirms the familiar idea of the planets in our solar system going around the sun whilst not being a star themselves (Jupiter was perhaps closest to becoming so but still many times too small for fusion due to lack of size compared to the star)

Secondly, to be a planet it must have enough mass for gravity to act on the planet (its own gravity) and to pull the planet into a shape that is approximately spherical.

Again this confirms our idea of planets being round in shape.

By: Unknown
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